Following the Sun by Sharon LaBorde

Following the Sun: A Practical Guide to Egyptian Religion
Sharon LaBorde
Self-published (lulu.com), 2010
300 pages

Reviewed by Devo

This book disappointed me on many levels, though I can’t say that it was unexpected. There were many things that irritated me about this book, though a few things stick out in particular. Those being: the author’s sourcing, the author’s tone/writing style, and the actual content of the book.

My biggest complaint about this book is the sourcing (or lack thereof). For me, if you’re not an actual Egyptologist and you’re writing about historical ancient Egypt, you have to have good sourcing in order to be taken seriously. Otherwise, your work means nothing. There are many tidbits and facts in this book that I have never seen before. This is normally a good thing, because it means I’m learning new information. However, in this case, the lack of sourcing makes the book totally useless because I can’t vouch for the validity of much of anything that is written.

My second issue with this book is the author’s tone while writing. I assume that she wanted to be considered “jovial” or easy to approach. However, it just makes the author appear dumbed down, or that the author feels that you, the reader, are dumb. It was so frustrating. Along with her tone, I didn’t like that she made it sound like Kemeticism IS this or IS that. There is no wiggle room. Nothing irritates me more than a black and white book that speaks as though it knows all. Ugh. She is quick to call certain theories “zany” or outlandish. She is very harsh towards ideas that are not her own. Along the lines of harsh content, both her Intro and Conclusion had “stories” in them that made reference to people who misunderstood Kemeticism. That’s fine, but the way she relates these stories to the reader is more of a “I met this person, and they said something stupid in relation to Kemeticism. And now that you’ve read my book, you won’t be as stupid as they were!” What if the people she referenced happened to read her book and they saw her caustic remarks?

And finally, I didn’t like the content of the book. I felt that the content wasn’t well researched at all. And you can definitely see the biases of the author through the content (e.g. a total slap to anything remotely Kemetic Orthodox in nature, or her constant references to the 18th dynasty, a dynasty that she is very much into). To me, an author should promote an unbiased and well researched book, and this book is neither.

All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone, especially not to a beginner (which is ironically the target audience for this book). I fear that if a beginner read this book before anything else- that they would have to unlearn a lot of things that are not generally accepted in the Kemetic community. Plus, due to the bad sourcing, I am afraid that some of the facts or scenarios laid out in this book are incorrect, thereby causing problems for the newcomer who stumbles their way into the online Kemetic community.

1 pawprint out of 5

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1 Comment

  1. fannyfae said,

    January 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Thank you for the review, Devo. I am now very glad I did not buy the book.


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